A 19-year-old Signal Hill resident was charged on Monday with the murder of 47-year-old Bellflower resident Jimmy Ray Hawkins Jr. in April, police said.
Santiago Rivera, 19, was one of five people arrested last week in connection with a separate deadly shooting that claimed the life of 24-year-old Long Beach resident, Duwayane Thomas, on June 3. During their investigation, detectives found incriminating evidence that connected Rivera to the murder of Hawkins, police said.
According to police, Hawkins and another woman were shot while they were sitting in a parked car in an alleyway in the 3300 block of Andy Street shortly after 2 p.m. on Friday, April 22. Two men approached the pair in a light-colored sedan and opened fire, police said in their original statement back in April.
Hawkins was pronounced dead at the scene and the woman was taken to the hospital in critical condition with multiple gunshot wounds to her upper body but she survived.
Rivera was charged with one count of murder and one count of attempted murder for the April killing and is being held on a combined $6 million bail for both slayings, police said. Detectives are still investigating if there were any other suspects involved in the death of Hawkins, according to Long Beach Police Department spokesperson Brandon Fahey.
Detectives believe the motive to be gang-related and both killings do not appear to be related, police said.
Hawkins’ sister, who declined to be named fearing for her safety, told the Post in April that her brother was not part of any gang.
A Long Beach native, Hawkins attended Jordan High School as a teenager and had a love for music, his sister said. Her brother was a humanitarian, an artist and singer who loved his family and his three daughters, she said.
“He will be missed by many,” she said.
The investigation is ongoing for the June 3 killing of Thomas and police are urging anyone with information to contact Detectives Michael Hubbards or Jesus Espinoza at (562) 570-7244. Anonymous tips may be submitted through LA Crime Stoppers.
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